photo courtesy Getty Images
The 2019 Genesis Open comes to the Riviera Country Club in sunny Los Angeles from February 14-17 as the PGA Tour ends its early season West Coast Swing. The tournament is traditionally one of the most popular on the PGA Tour and awards over $7.4 million in prizes. The field looks strong this year and includes defending champion and 3-time winner Bubba Watson, as well as Dustin Johnson, Xander Schauffele and fan favorite Tiger Woods. The challenging course at the Riviera Country Club, home to 3 previous major tournaments and the future host course of the 2028 Olympics, will also play a major role in who will raise the trophy on Sunday.
The Genesis Open got its start in 1926 as the Los Angeles Open. The first few years were played at various country clubs throughout LA, including the Hillcrest Country Club, Los Angeles Country Club and current host Riviera Country Club. The most significant event of the the pre-World War II years occured in 1938 when legendary athlete Babe Zaharias became the first woman to play in a PGA Tour event, eventually missing the cut. After WWII, the event spent several years as the PGA Tour’s opening event and attracted many of the game’s greatest players including past winners Phil Mickelson, Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan. The record title holders are Lloyd Mangrum and legendary Scottish golfer Macdonald Smith with 4 apiece, though Bubba Watson can tie this record with his 4th win in 6 years if he takes Sunday's title. The Genesis Open has also served as a first taste of the big time for several golfers, including a 16 year old Tiger Woods. The tournament was also the site of Jack Nicklaus’ first golfing paycheck: a whopping $30 won at the 1962 event.
Defending champion Bubba Watson. photo courtesy Getty Images
Tickets are still available to this year’s event. Good any day grounds tickets are $55, while good any day clubhouse access tickets are $95. These tickets may be used any single day of the tournament, and as its name implies the clubhouse ticket gives access to the clubhouse’s facilities and expansive outdoor deck. There are also numerous upgraded ticket options available, including the Greenside at 17. For $149, ticket holders have greenside seats to the 17th hole and clubhouse access. The Bluffs on 14 is an all-inclusive venue that includes a climate controlled venue with food and beverages as well as clear views of the entire 14th hole. Bluffs on 14 tickets run $375 per day. The most expensive option is the Backlot on the 18 Green, which provides high end food and beverage options as well as a climate controlled lounge with exterior deck seating overlooking 18 green. This can be had for $1,300 per day and includes 2 tickets and is all-inclusive. In addition, high school and college students with a valid student ID can purchase grounds tickets for only $25, with youth 15 and younger free with a ticketed adult. All active, retired, reserve and National Guard military members are eligible to receive complimentary grounds tickets that includes access to the Hexadyne Military Pavilion. Veterans are also eligible for 50% off grounds tickets.
Fans who are unable to travel to the event can still catch all the action from their homes. Television coverage is provided by the Golf Channel and CBS. Coverage of the first two rounds are on the Golf Channel on Thursday and Friday, 2-6pm ET. On Saturday, coverage begins 1-2:45pm ET on Golf Channel before switching to CBS from 3-6pm ET. The final round begins Sunday on Golf Channel 1-2:45pm ET before ending on CBS 3-6:30pm ET. Streaming coverage is provided by PGA Tour Live while radio coverage is provided by PGA Tour Radio on SiriusXM and PGATour.com.